Manhattan Academy

It’s one of those days at work where I’m absolutely paralyzed. Hogtied. Brainfreeze. I can’t do anything.

So what do I do? I go to Google Street View.

I take a drive in my childhood neighborhood in Jackson, Mississippi. Take a look at the old house.

There it is. There’s the lawn I mowed a thousand times. Behind that window is the tiny livingroom where … everything.

Kind of weird to be sitting here at work with tears rolling down my cheeks.

Let’s go down Keele Street toward my first school. There’s the park. Tripped with my friend Kerry in there. Middle of the night. Looked at a toad for half an hour. Then a tree.

But then … ouch … ahhhhhhh … owwwww … the real memories. Childhood. Dying of thirst after a field trip. Teachers let all the class play in the park before going back to school. Dark green leaves white in the afternoon sun. The memory of that light is pure. Some cells in my brain are still registering it. Mississippi is hot in its own special way. Remember running to the water fountain when we got back to school. Drinking like people in movies who’ve crossed a desert.

Next we have the first of the ugly cheap apartment complexes they were building back when. Deep in the complex we once set up for band practice on Bruce’s patio. Got halfway through Baba O’Riley before someone made us stop.

Now we’re going over the creek. Where’s my school? Gone. Nothing. Except there’s the gate I went through in the first grade. My dad once started singing “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” as we pulled up. I wouldn’t get out until he stopped singing. I did the same thing to my daughter when I dropped her off at school. She jumped up and tried to put a palm over my mouth. Full circle.

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